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Thread: K1300GT Dead battery condition?

  1. #1
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    K1300GT Dead battery condition?

    Five weeks ago I went two states over to a local BMW dealer to pick up my new to me 2010 K1300GT. It has 28K miles on the clock. Its about a 200 mile ride back home. About 130 miles into the trip the bike stalls while going about 75mph. Now, I'm not sure if the bike actually stalled or if my hand hit the starter button and I shut it off ...New bike and I was unfamiliar with the position of the controls. Outside temp was 47F. I was using the heated grips and seat and running cruise control.

    So the engine is now off and I'm coasting down from 75ish now. I pull in the clutch lever and press the starter button. The starter engaged but the engine didn't turn over. I made a few more attempts while rolling as I was pulling on to the shoulder. At say the third or fourth attempt I heard the click click click... Ok, now I've got a problem!! So the bike stops and on the center stand it goes. I hit the starter another time or two and the clicking and then no more clicking

    I call home and dispatch the rescue truck and trailer. After I get home I plugged it into the battery tender. The next morning (7 hours later) I see the battery tender light red light is flashing. I'm curious to see if the battery is toast so I turn the key and press the button and it starts. I'm not ready to ride so I shut it off. I unplug the tender and then plug it back in. Four hour later the light is solid green.

    A few days later after several 20 mile + rides I'm out riding. I shut it off so I could take a picture and five minutes later I hit the starter button and I get the click click click again... Call home again and dispatch the rescue squad. Being curious I try to start it again and it starts perfect. Ok, change of plans... The bike is running so I'm going straight to the battery store. At the next stop light I dumped the clutch and stalled Hit the starter and luckily it started but it turned over slow and just enough. 15 miles later I arrive at the battery store. The checks the battery and say nope its still good. Uhhhh ok, now what? Went home without trouble. The next day I take the battery to Autozone and they said they can load test it. He says 12.7 so it should be good.

    Like all of you I want to know my bike is going to be reliable so I'm not sure what to do? I was going to just replace the PC680 with a new one but my buddy is saying not to because I probably have a bad ground somewhere. I'm a pretty good wrench and all but electrical stuff is not easy for me.


    So please advise:

    New Battery?

    Search for a bad ground?

    Other ideas?


    -Rob

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    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Rob -

    Welcome to the forum! Stay tuned for good advice on how to troubleshoot your situation...not fun I'm sure.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
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  3. #3
    It sounds like the battery charger will charge the battery but the bike's charging system won't for some reason.

    Connect a decent volt meter to the battery. Read the voltage. Start the engine. Read the voltage with the engine at about 2,000 rpm.

    Report back.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  4. #4
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum


    I would clean the cable termination rings as any corrosion will affect current flow. See a lot of corroded rings and bolts.
    The hit or miss condition sure sounds like a bad connection. Simple to locate the battery end, a little work to check starter and frame grounds...which on that bike seems not as common.

    As Paul mentions, see what the bikes output voltage is while running.

    It will come up, but the charging systems on BMW's will not fully charge an Odyssey.
    We have a couple of them, but use a charger designed to top them up on occasion.
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  5. #5
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    Ok, I'll clean the rings and then check voltage and report back. I agree that a bad frame ground is probably less likely and hopefully not what I have to chase down. Ghost hunting isn't my strong suit either.


    Thanks guys.
    I've been around since 2008. I moved away for a while and now that I'm back you all changed the forum on me!

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    The terminals were clean. The first voltage check with engine off was 12.7v. When running it was 14.2-14.3v.
    I've been around since 2008. I moved away for a while and now that I'm back you all changed the forum on me!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by RSPENNACHIO View Post
    The terminals were clean. The first voltage check with engine off was 12.7v. When running it was 14.2-14.3v.
    Good news and bad news. The charging system seems to be working and you didn't find any connector problem. That is the good news.

    Why it is failing is still a mystery. That is the bad news.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  8. #8
    Fliege hoch und schnell! GTRider's Avatar
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    There is also a hot start electrical problem on these bikes that can be resolved via a retrofit kit from BMW. Replaces the cable from the battery to starter and a relay IIRC. If your charging system checks good and you only have the issue on hot starts, I'd suspect the cable/relay kit and/or a battery going south.
    Good luck,
    DG
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST -- 1988 K100RS (r.i.p.) -- 1995 R1100RSL (gone, never forgotten) -- 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C -- 2010 K1300GT
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

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    Like all electronically controlled vehicles, it's needs a minimum voltage to run. So, i would rig up voltmeter that can be seen while riding, and not go too far from the rescue vehicle. If the voltage continually drops while riding, that would indicate a charging system problem. That could be a ground, or something more costly.

  10. #10
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    If the bike quits while riding, it isn't the starter. AFAIK you could attempt to restart and got click, click, click. A) the kill switch isn't set to disable (no click, no hint of starter action with it set to disable), and B) there isn't enough voltage to spin the starter.

    When did you read 12.7 - after charging?

    Have you had a load test done? You can do a quick and dirty test by reading the voltage while cranking. A min/max function on a digital meter is almost a must for this test. Anyway, if you drop into the low 11 range, that's OK. Get into the 10's, not so good. Or take the battery to a box store (Auto Zone, etc.) for a test. Or let the battery sit, disconnected, and check the voltage after 12, 24, 36 hours. If it stays very close to 12.7. it's holding a charge.

    Ride with a meter on the battery and see what happens. I'm betting on a wiring/ground issue.
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  11. #11
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    To continue on my and RBE's posts, knowing the voltage when bike shuts off is critical to diagnosing this problem. It if doesn't drop, could be the ignition switch, kill switch, kickstand switch, ECM or associated wiring and electronic controls. If it does drop, it's in the charging circuit. I seem to recall reading that an Odyssey battery trait is that voltage can drop (enough to shut off the bike in your case) then come back up after sitting a bit.

  12. #12
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    Well, yes and no. It's useful to know the voltage when the motor quits - that decides between battery or other failure modes. But all batteries, when all loads come off, will seem low and then climb. That's why I recommend taking voltage readings with the battery disconnected. You might start low (probably will) but if the rest voltage is 12.5-12.7 the battery is probably OK and reasonably well charged. If the voltage stays in the weeds, I'd think long and hard about getting a load test done. If the battery passes, time to investigate the charging circuit.

    Two general troubleshooting principles: 1) if there are two possible explanations, one simple, one long and complicated, go with simple (many people don't and wish they had DAHIK). 2) When chasing electrical issues, start at one end and step through the wiring to the other end - don't jump from here to there to somewhere else to wherever. There's a big temptation to do "well, is it this? what about that?".
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  13. #13
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    Hello everyone.

    When I checked the voltage the bike was cold (sat for 2-3 days without a tender), key off and 12.7 from the battery. Then I started the bike and re-checked while at idol, this reading fluctuated between 14.2-14.3v. Then I held the motor at about 2000 RPM and got the same 14.2-14.3v.

    Yesterday evening I did the same test with identical results. I also turned on all of the heaters and high beams and showed 14.2v. I turned the motor off and checked the voltage while starting the bike. Intial was 12.7 and while cranking dropped to 12.5.

    I spoke to my local BMW shop, the service man said that the hot start condition that I was suggesting was unlikely for two reasons. First the hot start issue refers to a hot engine while in ambient temps at 85f and above (more like mid-90's he said). My issues occurred at 48f and 65f. Secondly this issue was more common on the K1200GT's. The factory fix was to add additional wiring and your bike being a K1300 included this design change. His bottom line over the phone was its likely the battery.

    So i believe my next course of action is going to be replace the battery and if the problem remains then I'll make an appointment to take the bike to the dealer.
    I've been around since 2008. I moved away for a while and now that I'm back you all changed the forum on me!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RBEmerson View Post

    Ride with a meter on the battery and see what happens. I'm betting on a wiring/ground issue.
    I think I can manage this. I'll give it a shot and see what happens.
    I've been around since 2008. I moved away for a while and now that I'm back you all changed the forum on me!

  15. #15
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    Do a load test first, but, yeah, I think your battery is shot. The voltages you give are exactly right. The problem is the battery is what really supplies power to the bike. The alternator output is there to keep the battery charged while running. For that reason you can see the right voltages but the battery still gives up and... end of ride.
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

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